There was no reason for this Hampshire centenarian to be brassed off with his birthday surprise.
It is not every day you are serenaded by a full brass band, whisking you off down memory lane as you celebrate a milestone.
But that’s what happened to veteran trumpeter Jim Dale, formerly of the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Band, who was surprised by an Army cadet band at his 100th birthday party at Calmore Community Centre, Totton.
Mr Dale, of Water Lane, Totton, said he was overwhelmed to see the band perform – sparking memories of his younger days.
He said: “The band was the biggest surprise of the lot.
“It reminds me of old times when I was in the regimental band for 15 years, ten of those as principal trumpeter. It’s been absolutely marvellous to have everyone here.
“It’s hard to say what my favourite piece to play was but I have always been a great fan of classical music and playing classical music. That’s why I was really pleased to see the band and they performed so well.”
Jim, who was born in Southampton, returned to the city after his time in the Army to work as a painter and decorator in his home town.
He was married to Winnie for 61 years until her death in 2000 and has two daughters, Barbara, 70, and Pat, 67. He also has seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Pat, of West Wellow, added: “It’s been a really nice occasion. Dad gets anxious sometimes but he has really enjoyed himself today.”
The Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Band is more than 300 years old, although the regiment itself was disbanded in 2006.